Jared Leto talks 'banned' Thirty Seconds to Mars video: 'It's an interesting double standard'

30-Seconds-to-MarsImage Credit: CobrasnakeJared Leto wasn’t completely surprised when TV networks refused to air his band’s racy “Hurricane” video. “We always knew there would be some images that would have a tough time getting through,” says the Thirty Seconds to Mars singer, who called the Music Mix while driving to the band’s next gig in Brighton, England today. “But we didn’t expect this kind of pushback that we’re getting now.”

In fact, the “Hurricane” clip that 30STM submitted for TV had already been edited down from the original. “I had always planned on having an explicit version and then a version that was not so explicit,” Leto says. “The version that we were trying to get on broadcast is not the explicit version, and that’s still having a really difficult time.”

Leto wonders just why the networks were so offended by the video’s sexual images. “I’m not interested in provocation for provocation’s sake,” he says. “I just think it’s interesting that when you turn on the news or whatever else catches your interest, how much violence and negativity is available out there. As soon as it comes time for sexuality, it’s a big shock that people are sexual beings. It’s an interesting double standard to me.”

Now he is debating how whether to edit “Hurricane” further to meet TV standards. “You know, at another time I would say, ‘Absolutely not.’ I would refuse 1,000 percent to change what I felt was important. But with this film, I’m not so sure I would cut off the nose to spite its face, so to speak…There are creative solutions to every problem. Certainly it would be difficult for people to air a 13-minute-long music video slash short film, regardless of the content. I think people have dealt with this in different ways in the past. People have made cuts. People like Mark Romanek have gotten creative and had ‘scene missing’ cards [for Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’].” In any case, it sounds likely that Leto will post the full clip online soon. “That’s a great opportunity, and we’re going to take full advantage of that.” (UPDATE: Watch the censored version of the “Hurricane” video now.)

While Kanye West worked with Thirty Seconds to Mars on an alternate version of “Hurricane” (the song), he wasn’t involved in the video. At least, not yet. “I have talked to him about it,” Leto says. “I’ve sent him some images and some clips. We’re still plotting and planning, so you never know.”

In the meantime, the rocker has been jamming out to West’s new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “It’s great,” he raves. “There’s no denying the talent and the artistry at work there. It’s nice to see that hard work pays off…He came and did a song with us at the [MTV Europe Music Awards]. At the last minute, literally, probably three or four minutes before we walked on stage in front of 60,000 people on a city street in Madrid, he looks over at me and says, ‘Hey, what do you think about throwing ‘Power’ in the middle of the song?’ I said, ‘Let’s do it!’ So we just went out and threw it together. It was a pretty magical experience.”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More on EW.com:
Thirty Seconds to Mars’ racy “Hurricane” video “banned” from TV
EW’s review of 30STM’s This Is War

Comments (55 total) Add your comment
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  • steph

    people still make music videos?

  • AC

    Networks? They don’t show music videos on TV anymore. Just stick it on YouTube. Problem solved.

    • Lunna

      Agreed. Stick to YouTube.

    • dropper

      Yep, YouTube is where I go to watch videos.

  • Jay

    Wait…? they show music videos on TV somewhere?

    • Shannon

      Really late at that night, they do.
      VH1, MTV, Fuse and the like.
      In the wee hours you can see the latest from Rihanna, Katy Perry, etc.
      Woopty doo.

    • Um

      VH1 airs lots of videos during the daylight hours.

      • Shannon

        VH1? Really?
        I haven’t seen a video on that channel during the day in a really long time.
        Unless you’re talking about their top 20 countdown that they air a couple mornings a week.
        Other than that, it’s all reality show filler with an odd “100 greatest songs of the 90’s” countdown, etc. And that doesn’t really count (oh haha, horrid pun alert) because they’re mostly talking about the videos rather than showing them in their entirety.
        Now, Fuse, on the other hand, does indeed show plenty of daytime videos, but it used to be even more until recently. Videos are in full bloom in the form of weekly countdowns, artist blocks, and “takeovers” when they have a marathon of one artist for an entire day.
        But, gone are the days when a music channel could air any video at any given time just because they’re supposed to. Bye bye, MTV.

    • Hookers ‘n’ Hash

      Only in Europe. American TV is rife with trash reality shows on what they are calling “Music TV”. Youtube is the only real outlet these days to actually watch videos stateside.

    • Amanda

      In NZ we have them airing nearly all day and night.

    • Kaname

      We don’t know about you, but every time we use social secrah, we feel like a feisty young Sarah Michelle Gellar running about staking vampires with the Scooby Gang in tow and getting by on an infeasibly small amount of sleep. Well, that’s a lie. We never feel like that – but Microsoft does, with Paul Yiu, a Microsoft program manager in Bing’s social secrah team, likening friend-powered secrah to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I compare the difference between secrah and social secrah to Knight Rider and Buffy the Vampire […]

  • Lunna

    He’s right. A movie or TV show can have shot everywhere and people getting killed, but the moment they show sexual scenes, they feel offended. That is really interesting because, sex is a very natural thing. Killing people isn’t.

  • um…

    30STM is so overrated. Why don’t they just put it on their website. I can’t remember the last time I made a conscious effort to watch a music video anyways

    • spam

      its a little different for 30STM, they’re not trying to be the classic ‘artist’ (whatever the hell that means today) they are really a whole performance band. Music Videos are part of the creative experience, its just the way they do things, and for me i think its a fantastic diversion from pop music and shallow meaningless video accompaniments from the likes of katy perry etc

      • Maxie

        I cry for the generation that thinks this is a diversion from shallow and meaningless pop music. THIS IS THE DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF MEANINGLESS AND SHALLOW!

        I guess my generation went so over the top that the only way this generation can rebel is by listening to really bland crap. My grandma says they’re catchy though.

      • Clovis

        Maxie, have you actually watched the video??? If not, then watch it and try to support it being Meaningless and Shallow

  • Shannon

    So, of course this only makes me want to see this video.
    Thanks a lot, censors.
    You made me do something I never wanted to do: Watch a 30 Seconds to Mars video.

    • 2hearts1mind

      so lets get straight on this k this only makes me? you made me do something? so who dresses you? I guess you have been MADE TO MAKE right?

  • dee123

    Hasn’t America always had a problem with sex & not violence in entertainment?

  • Maxie

    Lightweight, poseur Trent Reznor wannabe. 30 Seconds to Mars is only slightly more ‘edgy’ than Daughtry or the Jonas Brothers…but of course he didn’t make this video to be purposefully provocative.

    • Shannon

      Yeah, I read his explanation of the video somewhere, which was something like, “It’s a meditation on the violence of sex and the sex of violence”.
      I actually appreciate the idea from an artistic perspective, but that guy takes himself way too seriously when it’s hard for a lot of us to do so.
      Still, when “Kings and Queens” was used in the trailer for that big-budget animated owl movie (“Ga’hoole), it was the first time their music actually sounded like music to me.
      Maybe they should start writing scores for kids’ movies. It makes ‘em both better. Win-win all the way.

    • 2hearts1mind

      k lightweight poseur trent reznor wanna b Really who’s holdin D ROCK X2 hmm HUGE ONE’s k

  • Shannon

    Dude, just because you played a pretty, grungy stoner on a well-written teen drama ages ago, it does not make you a rockstar.
    It does, however, make you Jordan Catalano.
    I miss that show…

  • Christina

    LMAO Shannon! The movie was called “Girl” and he was awesome in that movie. He could really sing and it was him singing. But you are right, I still couldn’t lose the vision of him being Jordan Catalano in My So-Called Life. You can buy all of the episodes BTW at just about any store. They come in a boxed set. He was sexy then and he is sexy now…you have to admit. Those abs…OMG….I have watched the edited video on MTV.com twice now. The song is catchy. They will get a lot of publicity over this.

  • Will

    Let me be frank, I love thirty seconds to Mars, they are one of my favorite bands. I love all their videos. This is war was my favorite album of 2009. Having siad all that, the “Hurricane” video is a clear sign that Jared Leto’s ego has gotten in the way of what all makes the band great. The video is actually incredibly pointless, not making any sense out of anything truly and honestly. Some scenes are enjoyable and the cinemotography throughout is still beautifully crafted by Jared. However, some scenes are just strait up hard to watch with the incredibly STRONG sexual bondage theme running throughout. I’m a teenage dude, okay? Too much sex is never something that should come out of my mouth, yet here I am. It’s not artful, it’s not justified, and the bondage scenes are so explicit and graphic. The video overall is like delving into the dark corners of Leto’s mind, and quite honestly, it’s something I wish I would have left as it was.

    • Beth

      i would prefer a simple video that compliments the songs not overpowers it

    • Beth

      2 thumbs up to Will. a mature response for someone so young.

      • Shannon

        And articulate, to boot.
        Well done, young man.

    • Veronica

      I totally agree with you. I love 30 Seconds to Mars to death, like they are one of my favorite bands but i was completely confused throughout the video. It made no sense to me and it didnt really go with the song. And the sex scenes were a little much. But it was nice to see Jareds abs.

      • Fold

        Sep21doobiesmoke15 Q: What does the Pink Panther leave in his litter box?A: Doo-Doo, Doo-Doo, Doo-Doo Doo-Doo Doo-Doo Doo-Doo Doo-DooDoo-Dooget it

  • Debbie

    To all those ‘confused’ with the video… Lemme guess, your 25 and younger, right? Jared’s ego is getting in his way with this video? The words of someone who TRULY doesn’t grasp it. The reason I listen to them is the fact that they have clear and honest messages in their music. There’s nothing egotistical about showing how people are forced to bury parts of themselves because society and the unenlightened just don’t get it. Maybe you guys should all get the latest Jonas Brother CD or the 100% talentless Kesha’s? And for the older folks, I hear Beach Boys are touring again…

    • Detective

      To Debbie, thanks for your comments, Jared, urm, I mean, Debbie.

      • Will

        LMAO thnk you detective

    • will

      Can you say prejudice much? Because I’m a teenager all i listen to is Jonas Brothers and Kesha? My favorite artists are The Beatles, Aerosmith, 30 seconds to Mars, and my absolute favorite artist is My Chemical Romance. But obviously, because I’m a teenager, I obviously can’t comprehend messages or deepness to a work of art.

    • Corinna

      Goodness. Just because we’re 25 or younger doesn’t mean anything. And, is there something wrong with liking The Jonas Brothers? I find it immature that people alway’s assume that only or that all younger people listen to them or that they, “suck” I am a huge Jonas Brothers fan myself but I am and was alos a huge fan of 30 Seconds To Mars before I ever liked them. I also find it disrespectful how you went on to call Kesha, “100% talentless” And I’m not even a fan of hers.
      But, conserning the video, I have to admit, I was a little confused by the video but I pretty much grasped the meaning of it. Though, there could be many different meaning, it just depends on how you look at it. Just because I’m a teenager (or because I like the Jonas Brothers…) doesn’t mean I

      • Corinna

        Doesn’t mean I don’t understand the message.

  • Detective

    If the band’s messages are so clear, why the need to explain it then? It should be obvious to all of us. I am highly educated, with a BA Honors in English literature and I agree with Will. I must be unenlightened then, ha, Jared, urm, I mean Debbie?

  • Laura Jean

    OK I get it but come on it was a talented display of a short film,Please tell me why it is banned.I just do not get it.I loved the video and story it told and as hard as it was to follow watching it over again is what made it.Altough it was riskey it did not leave me with a bad feeling if not the oppisite take this away and you have made one mistake,show it again revamped you would have made another!

  • Detective

    Note to Jared: Please use a professional director the next time you wish to direct another video. I understand that you got burned in the making of the This Is War video but that is no excuse to make such an incoherent and mixed up piece of work. I did enjoy the visuals and the sounds but honestly, it was just a collage of images, without any cohesion and completely directionless. There are a few scenes which I found completely disturbing yet brilliant but they just didn’t work well together as a whole, maybe only good as snippets or teasers, which you loved sharing with us prior to the release of the video. I still love you (no one loves you more than I do) but I am honest. It just shows that you have promise but need more polish in your presentation. Hugs, Your future baby mama ;-)

    • Evs

      Hey there is no official ‘This Is War’ music video… Ktshh! someone who claims to love Jared should know that, and yes I did roll my eyes when I read your comment.

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